Libraries without walls Grant FAQs

General

Q. Can a library system apply for all four grant areas?

A. Yes, it is encouraged so you can get assistance with a variety of needs. If you have about what grant areas work better your idea, please don't hesitate to reach to us at the GPLS Help Desk.


Q. Can I meet with someone to discuss my idea?

A. Absolutely. Contact us at the GPLS Help Desk to set up a virtual meeting.


Q. What about monthly subscription plans, such as mobile hotspots plans or software as a service?

A. If awarded, monthly plans will be paid through September 2021.


Q. Are there federal spending guidelines for this grant?

A. Yes. Spending must be focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and applications have to be evaluated on certain metrics, such as the poverty rate and broadband availability in the area of the awarded libraries. These guidelines are covered in the application questions for each grant. If you want an idea, please take a look at them.


Q. Can I copy and paste the answers to the library information section and COVID-19 impact section from application to application?

A. Absolutely. You can re-use the same text for those answers for each application.

chromebook grant

Q. Can multiple branches in a library system apply for this grant?

A. No. Due the specific nature of the grant, we ask that one coordinated application per library system be submitted.


Q. Why the quick application deadline of September 30th?

A. Due to tech shortages, we want to make sure we place an order as soon as possible.


Q. What about Chrome devices shortages? Some items are back ordered until Spring 2021.

A. We have a wonderful relationship with our vendors and have already reached out to them about this grant. They are just waiting for our request. Right now, we are looking at a month delay from the time we place the order.


Q. How will the devices be divided among applications?

A. Devices will be awarded based on the RPLAC funding formula used by the Lib Tech Fund. It is based on 50 percent of population and 50 percent county breakdown by library system.


Q. How will applications be evaluated?

A. Applications will be evaluated based on COVID-19 response, the need for devices in your area, and your library system's readiness to deploy the devices.


Q. When should I know if my applications has been funded?

A. Award notifications will be sent by October 16, 2020.

tech innovation grant

Q. Can multiple branches in a library system apply for this grant?

A. Yes. However, the library system director and IT staff member dedicated to Lib Tech must be notified before all submissions. Funding will be awarded at the system level and distributed by the director down to the awarded libraries.


Q. How will this grant be funded?

A. Devices and other allowable items will be funded under the Lib Tech Fund, while the other items will be funded by CARES Act funding. Other items can include installation, software, racks, cabling, mounting kits, warranties, etc.


Q. Part of the funding will come from the Lib Tech Fund. How will that work and what is the deadline for the reimbursement?

A. Allowable items for Lib Tech will be reimbursed by the normal Lib Tech process. There will be flexibility with the deadline for the reimbursement depending on the project timeline. The items that are considered unallowable under Lib Tech will be covered by CARES and we are still working on a distribution method for that portion of the funding.


Q. What about monthly subscription plans, such as mobile hotspots plans or software as a service?

A. If awarded, monthly plans will be paid through September 2021.


Q. What if I want to multiple types of items under one larger project? While different in nature, they will all help with our COVID-19.

A. You can do this as long as there is a shared purpose under one project. Think creatively here. Find your hook that makes your application stand out!


Q. How will applications be evaluated?

A. Applications will be evaluated based on COVID-19 response, project creativity and innovation in addressing the issue, and compliance with funding guidelines.


Q. When should I know if my applications has been funded?

A. Award notifications will be sent by November 24, 2020.

wi-fi expansion grant

Q. Can multiple branches in a library system apply for this grant?

A. Yes. However, the library system director and IT staff member dedicated to Lib Tech must be notified before all submissions. Funding will be awarded at the system level and distributed by the director down to the awarded libraries.


Q. Is there a guide to the technology that can be included in this grant?

A. Yes! We have created a handy web guide on different wireless connectivity technologies.


Q. I am interested in TV White Space (TVWS), but not sure if it will work in my area.

A. If you are interested in TVWS and have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at the GPLS Help Desk. We encourage any interested libraries to contact us as soon as possible!


Q. Are there any costs that libraries will have to cover if applying for TVWS?

A. Yes. Expanding internet access beyond library property is not covered by E-rate. Applicants must be willing to cover the monthly internet cost used by TVWS if funded.


Q. How will applications be evaluated?

A. Applications will be evaluated based on COVID-19 response, the need for expanded Wi-Fi your area, and the viability of the technology at your location.


Q. When should I know if my applications has been funded?

A. Award notifications will be sent by January 29, 2021.

broadband infrastructure grant

Q. Can multiple branches in a library system apply for this grant?

A. No. Due the specific nature of the grant, we ask that one coordinated application per library system be submitted.


Q. What is funded under this grant?

A. The grant will pay for the non-discounted portion of your E-rate Category 2 (CAT 2) work approved by USAC. Traditionally, USAC will pay for the 80-85 percent (discounted portion), leaving libraries to cover the remaining 15-20 percent (non-discounted portion).


Q. I was thinking about using my Lib Tech allocation this year to pay for CAT 2. Is this grant a better option?

A. Yes! Lib Tech will not pay for all of your non-discounted portion. This leaves the library will footing some of the bill. The grant will pay for ALL of your non-discounted portion of CAT 2 installation.


Q. I didn't apply for CAT 2 funding this year. Can I still apply?

A. Unfortunately, no. It is only for current CAT 2 applicants. The good news is that you can still apply for your project under the Tech Innovation grant. Our hope is there will be money leftover to do another round for those who applied for CAT 2 funding next year.


Q. What if I have managed services and/or contract as a part of my CAT 2 application?

A. This grant will only pay for the non-discounted portion of your CAT 2 costs. If there is a an annual contract of some kind, it will be only be funded for one year, if charged as an annual cost up front, or through September 2021, if a monthly charge.


Q. Why is the grant period opening so late in the year?

A. We want to give CAT 2 applicants to received funding decisions from USAC, which can take until late Fall.


Q. How will applications be evaluated?

A. Applications will be evaluated based on COVID-19 response, the need for broadband in your area, and whether you have applied for CAT 2 funding for this year.


Q. When should I know if my applications has been funded?

A. Award notifications will be sent by February 26, 2021.